Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)

Born into a family of vegetarians I am totally clueless about the flavors of meat of any kind and hence I used to wonder what makes people to have cravings for meat. So I have been looking for vegetable substitutes for meat, and then started trying out the most popular meat-based recipes like biryani, kebab, kurma, etc. using those vegetable substitutes. Earlier I used fleshy soy meat for making biryani. Lately, I came to know that raw jackfruit is a better substitute than textured soya for its fibrous meat-like texture and mildly sweet flavour, and I have tried jackfruit biryani.

jb3 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
Jackfruit biryani

When raw jackfruit is cut into large chunks and used along with flavorful spices, it is almost impossible to differentiate the meat & raw jackfruit even by the die-hard meat lovers. Hence it is largely beneficial to people who switched to vegan diet to satisfy their cravings for meat.

jb9 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
Jackfruit biryani with raita

Raw jackfruit Vs meat:

  • Raw jackfruit is an inexpensive produce that can be used to replace almost any type of meat.
  • It is super easy & super fast to cook this vegetable compared to meat.
  • Since raw jackfruit recipes have less calories compared to meat recipes, it is useful for people on the weight-loss diet.
  • Raw jackfruits are easily digestible than meat.
  • It is a lot more easier & cheaper to grow jackfruit trees than raising livestock in a farm.
jb4 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
Palaa maram

Jackfruit biryani (palakkai biryani) recipe:


  1. Basmati rice – 1 cup
  2. Water – 2 cups (400 ml)
  3. Any neutral oil – ¼ cup (50 ml)
  4. Bay leaf – 1 No.
  5. Star anise – 1 No.
  6. Cashew nuts (mundhri) – 15 Nos.
  7. Raisins (dhratchai) – 25 Nos.
  8. Onion – 1 No. (large)
  9. Tomatoes – 2 Nos.
  10. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  11. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (I used Kashmiri chilli powder here for its vibrant red color)
  12. Salt – 1 tsp

For marinade:

  1. Raw jackfruit (palakkai) – 1 No. (small)
  2. Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  3. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  4. Salt – ¼ tsp
  5. Lemon juice – 1 tsp

For biryani masala:

  1. Cinnamon stick (pattai) – ½” piece
  2. Cloves (krambu) – 6 Nos.
  3. Green cardamom (yelakkai) – 2 Nos.
  4. Ginger – 1″ piece
  5. Garlic – 10 Nos.
  6. Shallots (sambar vengayam) – 20 Nos.
  7. Mint leaves – a handful
jfb Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)

Mise en place:

  • Peel the skin of raw jackfruit and chop roughly into large chunks.
  • Sprinkle chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice over the jackfruit pieces.
  • Toss them together and set aside for at least 30 min until marinated.
jfb2 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
How to marinade raw jackfruit
  • Wash rice & soak in 400 ml of water and set aside.
  • Slice onion lengthwise & dice tomatoes.
jfb6 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
  • Grind all ingredients for biryani masala into a smooth paste without adding water.
jfb1 Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
Biryani masala

How to prepare jackfruit biryani:

  • Heat a heavy bottom pressure cooker with oil in medium flame.
  • Add bay leaf & cinnamon stick and fry for 5 seconds.
  • Add sliced onion, cashew nuts and raisins.
  • Sauté until onion slices turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder & red chilli powder and fry for 10 seconds.
  • Add diced tomatoes and ground masala together.#
  • Add salt (¼ tsp) and sauté until they turn mushy & oil begins to ooze out.
  • Now add marinated chunks & salt (¼ tsp) and sauté until they are soft & infused with masala.
  • Pour water used for soaking into the cooker and bring it to a boil in high flame.
  • Add soaked rice and salt (½ tsp).
  • Close the pressure cooker and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • When the pressure is released, pour (1 tsp) of ghee over the cooked rice and close the cooker for 5 min allowing the aroma of ghee nicely permeated into biryani.
  • Mix gently with a wooden spatula.
  • Transfer to a hot casserole.
  • Serve spicy juicy biryani with raitha.
jb Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)
Jackfruit biryani recipe

#If we add tomatoes & ground masala (like ginger-garlic paste) together, the moisture in tomatoes prevents the masala stick to the pan.

124 comments on “Jackfruit Biryani (Faux Mutton Biryani)Add yours →

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    1. I think you can, it might affect the taste marginally but definitely not the texture. Thank you.

  1. I love Biriyani! 😀
    My uncle has many jackfruit trees heheh 🙂
    This looks so yummy!
    Your posts are very detailed and step-to-step, keep it up Ms Megala 🙂

  2. same here… I have only little idea why people crave meats. Sometimes, I even feel strange when I smell meats while eating with other friends… Is it normal that a vegetarian is not used to the smell of meats and animal products? it doesn’t bother me too much… only sometimes.

    1. Glad that you could resonate with me. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. I have never heard or ever seen a Jackfruit :0 Thanks so much once again for so more information that I will read up on 🙂

    1. I wish you could stumble upon this delicious fruit sometime soon. 🙂 Thank you.

  4. Hi Megala, raw jackfruit as meat substitute is something new I’ve learnt today! Will definitely try and let you know!

  5. WOw, great informative post. Good to know the usage of Jack fruit in place of meat.Nicely done!!!

    1. Young jackfruits have tender seeds, so we don’t have to remove their seeds or fibers, they all combine together to form the texture similar to meat. Hope you would get a chance to try this. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    1. I guess you can follow the same recipe but you may have to make little changes according to the cooking time of chicken. Perhaps chicken should be cooked separately and added along with rice.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

  6. Hi Megala !! Excellent read and recipe. Didn’t know jackfruit was a great substitute !! Have never worked with jackfruit (confession)… Will surely try this recipe… Will the fruit become rubbery if overcooked ?

    1. I think it is just chewy not rubbery. Anyways I will try once again and let you know. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

    1. Oh, please do try this biryani and I would love to hear from you how you like it as a non-vegetarian. Thanks.

  7. This looks delicious ? I have to look out for jackfruit. Ive only seem it canned. I’ve had in a pulled pork replacement and it was much better texture for me then soy meat.

  8. What an interesting post. I’d never have thought of jackfruit as a substitute. But that’s great that you’ve made such a wonderful discovery. Tasted jackfruit for the first time at my grandmother’s home in Goa many many years ago. Just loved it. Reading the ingredients in this biryani recipe, I’m sure I wouldn’t miss the meat 🙂

    1. I wish you could get a chance to taste jackfruit once again after several years. Indeed you wont miss your meat anymore. 🙂 Thanks so much.

  9. I’ve always wanted to make biryani with raw jackfruit, but never got around to it. Thank you for this awesome recipe! Will surely try it out some time. 🙂

    1. It is so nice of you! 🙂 By the way, may I know whether you are a vegetarian?

    1. Yes, I did feel the same way. We have been using crumbled jackfruit for quite a long time but never felt like that. Only when the large pieces of this vegetable are used, you would feel like meat pieces. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  10. I had no idea that raw jackfruit was considered a perfect substitute for meat. I’ve not eaten meat for nearly a year now, and I find the alternatives out there, very up and down. Meaning, some are good, and others are terrible. I’ve looked online and I can buy raw jackfruit at my supermarket. This recipe of yours looks devine, and I definitely want to make! 🙂

    1. I’m sure you would like jackfruit as a substitute for meat. Thanks s o much.

  11. I do eat meat but also love raw jackfruit so will try your version of biryani too Megala!

  12. Whoe! Raw jackfruit instead of meat, that is simply amazing. I am a vegetarian too but an idea to substitute meat with the meat of a veggie is one that has never struck. Great idea, Megala.

    1. Hi, how are you? I didn’t hear from you quite sometime.
      Hope you would like to try this biryani and please do let me know how you like it as a vegetarian. 🙂
      Thank you.

    1. I think it would be really exciting if you grow this tree in your garden. 🙂 Thanks Diane.

  13. I have cooked with jackfruit and it is an amazing substitute for meat I was really surprised…You do need to be careful when cutting the jackfruit because of the latex it produces when cut 🙂 I wi;ll have to try the biryani 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your personal account on jackfruit as a substitute for meat. I hope you would like this biryani too. 🙂

      1. I am sure I will, Megala …I have seen a few posts on Jackfruit lately and am reposting mine tomorrow on Fruity Fridays as it is not an easy fruit to cut when green because of the latex it can get messy…lol

  14. Amazing biriyani recipe for vegetarians!! This biriyani is popular in Andhra too. We also prepare the same way. Curry with jack husk(Panasa pottu) n jack fruit biriyani common during any auspicious occasion. Thanks for posting a lovely recipe!!

    1. This is really interesting, I would love to find the recipe for jackfruit husk curry in your blog sometime soon. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your personal account on jackfruit traditions.

  15. Awesome! Faux in your title really caught my eye. I love biryani but I don’t eat mutton…now I know how to please myself :). Once again thanks for such an informative post.

  16. This is simply inspired! I love the fact that you used jackfruit for the “meat” here. I’ve never seen that done in biryani before but I will definitely try it now.

  17. Amazing! Biryani is my favourite and I’ve been trying to eat less meat. Can’t wait to try this out!

  18. This is a great recipe Megala and am sure it is very flavorful and delicious as well! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea of substituting jackfruit for meat.

  19. Thank you Megala. Being a fan and promoter of anything Jackfruit, I am particularly happy to see this

  20. We don’t have Jackfruit here but a friend of mine just moved to Australia, and they have it. She is a chef, and has been eating/cooking vegan food since she arrived there. She said it is just like meat, and as a matter of fact one of her dishes that always sells out is pulled bbq jackfruit. It’s a variation of pulled pork bbq that is very popular here. She said you can’t tell the difference at all. And like you said here, it has much more health benefits than the meat. Oh, I couldn’t find that melon but I will not give up searching 🙂 Thank you Megala for sharing your recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Margaret, sorry for the late reply, just now fetched it from my spam folder!
      Thanks a bunch for sharing your chef friend’s experience with jackfruit as the best substitute for meat.
      And please don’t bother about the melon, it will just fall into your lap someday. 🙂 Have a great weekend !

  21. It’s amazing, couple of months ago I read an article somewhere that now companies are trying to introduce jackfruit as a substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes. I didn’t believe it. You have made it.
    For me the only problem is we only get either canned or frozen raw jackfruit where the frozen one is half ripe most of the time and I end up throwing it. Can slightly ripe (meaning very slightly sweet and yellowish) be used in any cooking? The canned ones are non-flavorful at all – bummer.

    1. Hey, you can very well use semi-ripe canned jackfruits, or even the ones with no flavor on its own. Biryani masala will take care of the flavors, here we just need to get the right texture, so no worries! 🙂 Please do try and let me know how it turned out for you. Thank you !

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